Eat More Calcium to Improve Bone Health

Posted On Monday, 22 December 2014
Eat More Calcium to Improve Bone Health
My patients, family, and friends often ask me "How can I make my bones stronger?" In my last blog, I spoke about the Wonder Vitamin (Vitamin D). This time, I will focus on its counterpart calcium.

Calcium and Bone Health

Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is essential to keeping your bones strong and healthy. Without either essential nutrient, your bones may grow fragile and you may put yourself at risk for developing fragility fractures as you age. To stay healthy, it's vital that you eat foods rich in both calcium and vitamin D, or take supplements for the nutrients each day.

What is Calcium?

Calcium is an essential mineral for your health. Your body is unable to produce the mineral, therefore it's vital that you obtain it through the foods you eat, or through supplementation. The mineral is shed from your body each day in sweat, hair, skin, nails and feces, so it's important to always consume the recommended daily value of calcium each day to replenish your body's stores.

What does Calcium Do?

Calcium helps rebuild bones and keeps them strong, but it also has many other uses throughout the body. The mineral is vital to muscles and also allows your nerves to send proper messages throughout the nervous system and aids in the blood clotting process within your body.

Recommendations for Calcium

Many people fall short of getting the recommended value of calcium each day in their diets. These people are putting themselves at risk for bone density loss and brittle bones. Overtime, they may even increase their risk for developing fragility fractures and health issues. The recommended value for calcium each day is dependent on your age and your sex.

Calcium Sources

The best way and most simple way to obtain calcium is to eat foods that are rich in the essential mineral. Supplements can give you the proper dosage of calcium per day, but the calcium found in food can be more bioavailable than calcium in supplement form. Foods that are rich in calcium include:

  • low fat and nonfat dairy products
  • green vegetables
  • enriched cereals
  • enriched breads

Some mineral waters even have been enriched with calcium and other essential minerals to help you obtain your daily amount of calcium easier. Supplements that contain calcium must be taken along with a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D increases the ability of your body to absorb and utilize calcium. Many supplement companies manufacture calcium supplements that already contain vitamin D.

Calcium is essential to keeping your body strong and healthy. Ensure that you get enough calcium in your diet each day by eating a variety of foods that are rich in the essential mineral, and, if necessary, take a daily supplement to boost your calcium intake.

Dr. Jan Szatkowski

Dr. Szatkowski is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma surgeon who specializes in preventing or reducing permanent disability in the most complex orthopaedic cases. Dr. Szatkowski treats patients for various orthopaedic needs such as post-traumatic arthritis, simple and complex fractures, revision surgery and joint replacement surgery at the Andrews Institute.

Dr. Szatkowski has previously practiced in Chicago, where he was the chairman of orthopaedics at one of the busiest trauma centers in the country, John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Dr. Szatkowski completed a fellowship at Campbell Clinic's Level 1 Trauma Center at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Dr. Szatkowski is passionate about providing the highest quality of care possible with open, honest communications with patients; treating the patient as an entire person, rather than just the immediate medical problem.

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